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Ashley Judd reflected on forgiving her mother Naomi Judd “long ago” as she discussed the country music star’s death by suicide.
“I look back at my childhood, and I realize I grew up with a mom who had an undiagnosed and untreated mental illness,” Ashley told David Kessler, the host of the “Healing with David Kessler” podcast in a recent episode.
“And there are different behavioral expressions, interactions, flights of fancy, you know, choices that she made that I understand were an expression of the disease.”
Ashley and Wynonna have been outspoken about their rough childhood and choices Naomi made. Ashley wrote about her childhood in her 2011 memoir “All That is Bitter and Sweet.”
NAOMI JUDD REMEMBERED BY WYNONNA: ‘THIS CANNOT BE HOW THE JUDDS STORY ENDS’
She also shared that she grew up in “a dysfunctional family system that didn’t work very well” during an interview with the “Today” show the same year.
“I understand that and know that she was in pain, and (I) can today understand that she was absolutely doing the best that she could. And if she could have done it differently, she would have.”
Ashley admitted she hopes Naomi was able to “let go” of any guilt and shame she carried about her mental health issues when she passed away.
“My most ardent wish for my mother is that when she transitioned, she was hopefully able to let go of any guilt or shame that she carried for any shortcomings she may have had in her parenting of my sister and me,” she explained. “Because, certainly on my end, all was forgiven long ago.”
Naomi died by suicide on April 30.
Ashley and Wynonna Judd announced their mother’s death via a statement shared to social media.
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“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy,” the joint statement read. “We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”
Just weeks before her death, Naomi and Wynonna reunited at the CMA Awards for a performance. The duo also announced they were going back on tour for the first time in 10 years.
“The Final Tour” is now set to begin Sept. 30 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and end on Oct. 29. in Lexington, Kentucky.
Ashley also explained during the interview that the family has figured out how to grieve in their “individual and respective ways.”.
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“One of the things that I think we have done well as a family, meaning my pop, my sister, Wynonna, and me, is we have really given each other the dignity and allowance to grieve in our individual and respective ways,” she told Kessler during the interview. “And yet, we’ve been able to completely stick together. So we can be at the same supper table and recognize ‘Oh, this one is in anger.’ ‘This one is in denial,’ ‘This one is in bargaining,’ ‘This one is in acceptance.’ ‘I’m in shock right now.’ And we don’t try to control or redirect or dictate how the other one should be feeling at any particular moment.”
“We may be in slightly different places (with our grief) and, yet, we’re in community.”
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.
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